February 18, 2022
The fireplace is the heart of the home. It warms the inside, acts as a focal point drawing elements in a room together, and is an energy-efficient source of heat. Positioned in the corner or center of a room, a fireplace will at all times command attention, no matter if it's wood-burning or electric. As such, homeowners, architects, and designers turn to natural stone to enhance its natural, warm appeal.
Beautiful and comforting, stone fireplaces are customizable, practical, and charming. When homeowners think of a fireplace in stone, the common assumption is a bucolic aesthetic with an ancient appeal, but this needn’t be the case. In fact, there are many advantages to building a stone fireplace surround.
Natural stone is visually distinct and can be elegant, like marble and granite, or rustic, like sandstone. Because it's acquired from nature, it possesses rich tones and hues that are warm and welcoming. It permits artistic design liberties and can link the interior of a home with architecture and landscaping outside if the same stone is used.
From stacked stone to simple slabs, soft, neutral, and earthy stone surrounds are all the rage. These tones blend in excellently with current minimalist and maximalist decor trends, adding depth and interest — the organic shapes and textures of natural stone work well with wooden and other ornate stone accents.
Marble, limestone, granite, and travertine are popular types of stone for fireplaces. As stone slabs, they can be fabricated to fit any size shape, so it’s truly possible to create a 100% unique fireplace for your home.
While brick and tile fireplaces retain their charm, every piece of marble, slate, and granite is unique and can’t be replicated. Whether simple or ornate, timeless or modern, you can achieve any look with fabricated or natural stone veneers.
Stone fireplace materials comfortably absorb and radiate heat without damage. Marble, limestone, and granite are excellent heat conductors and retain warmth in the firebox for longer. One of the benefits of a fireplace made from natural stone is its innately durable and scratch-resistant surface that withstands everyday use.
Of all-natural stones, granite is the most popular. It is scratch-resistant, is unlikely to chip, crack or exhibit etching marks after time, and maintenance is minimal. Depending on the type, it may require sealing every six months to a year. Otherwise, dust and wash with water and a mild detergent will suffice.
Traditional fireplaces made from hearths and bricks wear and tear, forming cracks and chips. On the contrary, a timeless fireplace surround can last well over 100 years without losing luster. And it’s not just about materiality. Natural stone maintains the aesthetic of heritage homes and buildings, too.
Indiana limestone products offer a warm, soft, and natural look that’s elegantly understated and pairs well with wood furniture. Limestone comes in shades of beige, tan, and yellow-gold and is processed with a tumbled or antiqued texture.
A fireplace in stone merely requires dusting and light polishing (in the case of smooth slab finishes) to maintain allure and prevent soot caking into the stone. If an area becomes discolored, it is best to hire a professional stone cleaning service to restore it, as some stones in fireplaces are sensitive to harsh cleaning products.
Minor stains can be wiped away with a damp cloth or sponge, although it is best to inquire which cleaning method is best with your fabricator or supplier. Like marble and granite, some stones may require sealing every few years.
There are no harmful chemicals or toxins in natural stone, and because it is quarried from the earth, its carbon footprint is significantly less than other manufactured materials. Regionally manufactured and extracted stone-like Indiana Limestone further decreases environmental harm as supply chain logistics require fewer resources.
Stone can easily be recycled and repurposed, lengthening its lifespan and reducing waste in landfills. Its long shelf-life also means that it doesn’t need replacing often. In many ways, the stone is one of the first eco-friendly building materials we still continue to use to this day.
Estate agents and architects agree that natural stone increases a home’s value and delivers a high return on investment when homeowners decide to sell. While many assume natural stone is out of their budget, it is possible to find reasonably priced slabs that are well worth the cost.
Natural stone can potentially increase a home’s value up to 25% of its retail value when paired with stone countertops, floors, bathrooms, or outdoor areas. Due to its longevity and low chances of replacement during ownership, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime investment.
At Stone Center, we know our Indiana limestone fireplace surrounds bring great returns on investment and make home interiors look beautiful. As seasoned fabricators and suppliers, we offer high-quality products suitable for rustic or smooth stone fireplaces.
If you’re renovating your current fireplace or building one from scratch, we can help. We strive to provide the best price and quality materials so you have a home you’re proud of; contact us to learn more about our fireplace customization process.